SEC poised to sign Hong Kong deal

SEC poised to sign Hong Kong deal

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to sign a memorandum of understanding with its Hong Kong counterpart on fast-tracking approval of cross-border investment in mutual funds by the second quarter.

After the agreement is signed, both parties will amend regulations to ease cross-border mutual fund investment, Nataya Niyamanusorn, the SEC's assistant secretary-general, said on the sidelines of a meeting with Hong Kong regulators.

The current filing process for cross-border mutual fund investment is a lengthy ordeal, she said.

Hong Kong's authorities support easier cross-border mutual fund investment, Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said after a meeting with managers of 40 funds with combined assets under management of US$30 trillion in the special region.

Thai authorities want to launch roadshows in many countries this year to promote investment, Mr Uttama said, adding that the delegations should be arranged soon to build confidence.

Managers of the 40 funds are keen to invest in Thailand, given the country's solid fundamentals and 20-year national strategy, he said.

Investors who attended the roadshow showed interest in Thailand's plans, particularly infrastructure megaproject investments like the Eastern Economic Corridor, the high-speed railway linking three international airports, the development of U-tapao airport and the expansion of Laem Chabang and Map Ta Phut seaports.

Mr Uttama said he told the fund managers that the government stands ready to implement fiscal and monetary policy in an appropriate manner to shore up the economy.

Stock Exchange of Thailand president Pakorn Peetathawatchai said the agreement will come as a boon to Thai investors, as they can easily access China's stock market through the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme.

At least 10 Thai mutual funds are putting money into China.

Hong Kong's stock regulator will also provide support for green bonds issued in Thailand to list on the Hong Kong market by easing listing regulations, Mr Pakorn said.

A real-time announcement of exchange-traded funds' net asset value will be the next step in the cooperation between Thailand and Hong Kong, he said.

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